This week, RadComms turns three. On our third anniversary, we are asking for your help in shaping and resourcing what is next for the network.
For three years, we’ve been proud and eager to offer open-source access to resources like press lists, peer-driven communications trainings, and in-person meetups to connect with other social-change communicators. We do this because we know narrative change doesn’t happen one organization at a time—and in the fight for justice, it doesn’t benefit anyone to keep what we know proprietary or a secret. This is different from the status quo, and we pride ourselves on that. Continuing in this tradition of generosity and nonconformity, we need your support in taking RadComms to the next level.
- This year, the RadComms leadership and fundraising teams developed a fundraising strategy generated from our member survey, more than 1,000 network conversations, and data from a discovery process. We got the feeling people in this network think the resources and support you receive here are valuable. So, we’re asking:As an individual, would you be willing to give a sliding-scale contribution of $25–$100 a year in exchange for the resources you receive? If you can, click here, select “ReFrame: RadComms” from the dropdown menu, and give what you can.
- As an organization or firm, would you build a line item for RadComms into your budget and contribute $1,000 or more annually to support the growth of this Network? If yes, please email us and let us know how much you can allocate.
- Do you have recommendations for where we should be looking for resources to fund our work together? If yes, tell us where.
There are so many reasons this network is meaningful to me, and one experience, in particular, stands out.
When Micah Xavier Johnson shot and killed five Dallas police officers and injured nine others on July 7, 2016, onlookers began drawing a false connection between him and Black Lives Matter and the Movement for Black Lives. As the then–Director of Communications for Black Lives Matter Global Network and co-chair of the Communications Table of the Movement for Black Lives, I was obligated to articulate our communications response to what happened in Dallas and to the rumors that Johnson was among our ranks. I often look back on this moment awash with shame and regret because I didn’t know where to start or what to say.
Up until that point, if I knew nothing else about communicating on behalf of social movements, it was that there is no one right way to do it. At no time during my tenure at BLM was I more aware of the range of difference in the political beliefs among movement members than when I sat down at my computer to eke out our collective response to the deaths of five police officers at the hands of a Black person. How do you balance illustrating the systemic threat police pose to Black communities while condemning Johnson’s tactics? Johnson wasn’t connected to us, and his frustration about unchecked police violence was shared by our members.
We are the future of social-change communications. We believe the most important role strategic communications plays in social movements is to build narrative power, which, according to Rashad Robinson, changes “the norms and rules our society lives by.”
Together, we have learned that narrative power is not built one person or one organization at a time—the global fight for social justice requires all of us. That is why, on the three-year anniversary of RadComms, we are asking for your help to shape and resource what is next for the network.
If you are still unsure whether you can or want to help resource this network (and even if you know you do), take 60 seconds and answer three brief questions to help us determine what membership structure works best for this network.
In community and service,
Founder, Radical Communicators Network
RadComms Leadership Team
Marzena Zukowska, Hermelinda Cortés, Micky Jordan, Katrina Rogers, JD Davids, Ana Tellez, Chelsea Fuller, Bryce Fields, Shanelle Matthews
RadComms Fundraising Team
Virali Modi-Parekh, Maya Trabin, Zaineb Mohammed, Marzena Zukowska, JD Davids, Shanelle Matthews